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of two shillings and sixpence is useless. But to convince those that send for the intelligence of the use of this, they need only to send with the real, other Initials indifferent to them, and they will be satisfied. Absence or distance does not abate the certainty of the then present Esteem and Affection.
Letters (free) directed to S. J., No. 11, Duke-street, Grosvenor Square, will have honest answers left there, or sent conformable to the address, in a day or two after their Receipt.
The next advertisement we find in our collection savours less of affection, for the desire of the inserter seems to be to prevent some one to whom he has an objection inheriting entailed estates. It has its value, in addition to what consideration may be given to it as a specimen of the manners of the last century, as showing the kind of people who then made the laws. Decency must have made a decided advance, look at it from what point we will, since April 16, 1776, when this appeared in the Public Advertiser:—
AGENTLEMAN who hath filled two succeeding seats in Parliament, is near sixty years of age, lives in great splendour and hospitality, and from whom a considerable Estate must pass if he dies without issue, hath no objection to marry any Widow or single Lady, provided the party be of genteel birth, polite manners, and five, six, seven, or eight Months gone in her Pregnancy.
Letters directed to Brecknock, Esq., at Will's Coffee House,
facing the Admiralty, will be honoured with due attention, secrecy, and every possible mark of respect.
In the Daily Advertiser of July, in the same year, we find the following, which, though of a much more legitimate character than that just quoted, and directed to the interests of fair and honest trading, will repay perusal:—
TWO Men beg leave to acquaint the Public in general that they keep the cleanest Barber's Shop in all London, where the people can have their Hair cut for 2d., dressed for 3d., and be shaved for id. One of these Men can bleed and draw teeth very well; he bleeds both in the English and German manner, as well at home as abroad, and is exceeding careful. Bleeding 3d., drawing teeth 4d. There is a parlour made in the shop on purpose for bleeding and drawing teeth. The people may depend on being served immediately and well in every respect. No satisfaction, no pay. The above-mentioned Shop is at No. 7 King Street, Seven Dials.
Bleeding nowadays is still done by barbers, though not in the same way, nor so scientifically, as practised by the two clean shopkeepers of King Street. Shaving as a high art is neglected nowadays, a state of affairs traceable to the beard and moustache movement of the last twenty years, which has rendered shaving below the attention of true artists, who now give their attention to "cutting and curling," &c. Any one who doubts this had better trust himself to the untender mercies of half-a-dozen different barbers, in ordinary thoroughfares, and where the prices are fixed at ordinary rates. Before he has tried the sixth establishment he will not only have conformed to our views, but will be a considerably altered, if not an improved, man. In the Morning Post of October 13, 1778, we come across an appeal to the short-sighted, which is worthy of the tribes of welchers who in our own times have made large fortunes through advertising in the columns of the sporting papers. This must have been something like the "discretionary investment" dodge, which brought in large sums to swindling firms who professed to govern the turf a few years back, and whose advertisements occupied whole columns in the newspapers:—
A Serious though Surprising Offer. Tj*OR the compliment of One Hundred Guineas, any enterprizing Gentleman or Lady may have revealed to them an eligible method of converting hundreds into Thousands, in a few weeks, and of continuing so to do yearly. The requiring so inadequate a consideration, is because the proposer is under misfortunes. Only letters with real names and residencies will be regarded. Direct for W. W., at the King's Bench Coffee-House.
In the early part of 1778 (May 7) the Morning Post contained the following appeal for an article which has been scarce ever since the world began, which is not valued much when possessed, and which is about the last thing one could hope to obtain through the medium of an advertisement, no matter how cunningly contrived, nor how great the circulation of the paper in which it appeared :—
"\ ANTED immediately, the most difficult thing to be met with in * * the world, A Sincere Friend, by a person, who, though in the meridian of life, has outlived all he had. He wishes to meet with a Person in whom he may repose the most implicit Confidence; a Person who has a good heart, and abilities to second that goodness of heart; who will give his advice cordially, and assistance readily. The advertiser is a person in a genteel situation of life; has a decent income, but is at present so circumstanced as to want a sincere friend.—Any Person willing (from principles of Friendship, not Curiosity) to reply to the above, by directing a line to T. S., at Mr Sharp's, stationer, facing Somerset House, Strand, will be immediately waited on or properly replied to.
Money, the sincerest of all friends, is probably the object of T. S.'s ambition. If he was not suited in the year '78, an opportunity occurred soon after; for specially directed to the cupidity of persons who desire to get money, and are not at all particular what the means so long as the end is attained, is the following, which appears in the Morning Post of March 1779 :—
AGENTLEMAN of Fortune, whom Family reasons oblige to drop a connection which has for some time subsisted between him and an agreeable young Lady, will give a considerable sum of Money with her to any Gentleman, or person in genteel Business, who has good sense and resolution to despise the censures of the World, and will enter with her into the Holy state of Matrimony. Letters addressed to Mr G. H., at the Cecil Street Coffee-House, will be paid due attention to.
As this kind of arrangement has not yet fallen into desuetude, although the aid of advertisements is no longer invoked for it, we had better not give an opinion about its morality, though it is but fair to admit that if the system of selling soiled goods, of which the foregoing is an example, had but been out of date, we should have been loud in our objections. For no vice is so bad as one that has exploded, and the weaknesses which we can regard with complacency while they are current, cause strong emotions of disgust when, their day being over, we look back upon them, and wonder how people could have been so extremely wicked. About the same time, and in the same paper, is another application of a peculiar nature, though in this instance the advertiser wishes not to part with, but to obtain a similar commodity to that advertised by G. H. This is it:—
A SINGLE Gentleman of Fortune, who lives in a genteel private style, is desirous of meeting with an agreeable genteel young Lady, of from 20 to 30 years of age, not older, to superintend and take upon her the management of his House and Servants, for which she will be complimented with board, &c. As the situation will be quite genteel, it will not suit any but such who has had a liberal Education, and who has some independance of her own, so as to enable her always to appear very genteel, and as a relation or particular friend, in which character she will always be esteemed, and have every respect paid her, so as to render the situation and every thing else as agreeable as possible.
Any lady inclining to the above, will please to direct with name and address, to M. H. Esq., to be left at No. 7, the Bookseller's, in Great Newport Street, near St Martin's Lane; she will be waited on, or wrote to, "but with the greatest delicacy, and every degree of strict honour and secrecy.
Strict honour and secrecy seems to be an essential to the successful completion of the designs of many advertisers of this time, but they are to be all on one side, in company with an amount of blind credulity which would be wonderful if it were not repeatedly exhibited in modern days. Here is an honourable and secret venture which appears in the Morning Post of December 17, 1779, and which was doubtless very successful:—
A GENTLEMAN who knows a Method which reduces it almost to a certainty to obtain a very considerable sum, by insuring of Numbers in the Lottery, is advised by his Friends to offer to communicate it to those who wish to speculate in that Way. The advantage that is procured by proceeding according to his Principles and Directions, will be plainly demonstrated and made perfectly evident to any who chuses to be informed of it. The terms are Ten Guineas each person, and they must engage not to discover the plan for the space of eighteen months. If those who are willing to agree to the above terms will be pleased to address a line to J. R. C. at the Union Coffee-House, Cornhill, or the York Coffee House, St James's Street, they will be immediately informed where to apply. Those who have lost money already (by laying it out improperly) insuring of Numbers, may soon be convinced how much it will be to their advantage to apply as above.
N.B.—This advertisement will be inserted in this morning's Paper only.
A suspicious person would have fancied that the friends of J. R. C, unless they were dissimilar from other friends, would have used the information for their own benefit—but generous and self-abnegating people do turn up in history in the most unexpected and unaccountable ways. Another specimen of the secret and honourable kind, though in it the secrecy and honour have to be on the side of the advertiser, follows. It is in the Morning Post, April 18, 1780, and runs thus:—
A NY Lady whose Situation may require a Temporary Retirement, may be accommodated agreeable to her wishes in the house of a Gentleman of eminence in the Profession, where honour and secrecy may be depended on, and where every vestige of Pregnancy is obliterated; or any Lady who wishes to become Pregnant may have the causes of sterility removed in the safest manner. Letters (Post-paid) addressed to A. B. No. 23, Fleet Street, will be attended to.
A. B. offers a double convenience, the second item in which is well worthy of note. The house must have been somewhat similar, except that the accommodation was for human beings, to those establishments advertisements in connection with which frequently appear in the sporting and agricultural papers. Much about the same date as the specimen just quoted appears another of quite a different kind, inserted in several journals. It is rather unique as a way